August 12, 2012
Yes, it is an indication of the pinging-off-the-pinball-bumpers that is my life that apologies and pickles go together on the closing day of the Olympics.
Let’s get the apologia out of the way first. I’ve been busy grandmothering, busy at work, and out of town, and have continued to shamefully neglect you, my faithful readers. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
Unfortunately, however, I can’t be absolved from my sins, because I’m fixin’ to do it again. After a whole week-and-a-day here at home, I will be hitting the road again Friday afternoon for a six-day road trip across Tennessee and into the hills of North Georgia (“Whut choo wanna go f*** with that river fer?”). Back from that on Wednesday night late, leave Sunday for the hills of Northwest Arkansas. Back from that Tuesday, Blues Festival starts Thursday, and I leave that Sunday morning for Japan.
September 4, 2011
And that is, thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, exactly what I’ve finally done after a horrendous August road warrior schedule. I have, in fact, cancelled a planned week-after-next business trip, and I am HERE for the next eight blessed weeks, and damn well happy about it, thank you very much!
And I am cooking. Today we are going to have chipotle garlic grilled flank steak, potato skins, and barley-stuffed zucchini (the recipe was for barley stuffed peppers but I don’t like peppers so I’m stuffing zucchini. Deal with it). But I thought I’d catch you up with a little travel, a little dining, and so on and such forth.
You can also go home again when it comes to food, witness my stops en route home from the wilds of North Georgia (pretty country!) in Memphis at BOTH the Cupboard and Cozy Corner.
February 19, 2011
Well. Here I still am, in the Spa City, waiting on the babymama to call me so I can hit the road to Nashvegas. No contractions yet, though we are feeling “crampy,” she says this morning. I have the dog at the groomer’s, ricotta cheese in the making process, about to make the weekly Guinness Whole Wheat loaf for NS, and somewhere in there I’ve got to pack a bag and get a shower.
First, I’ve got to share this photo with you:
Is that not the finest looking family you’ve ever seen? (Well, except for perhaps your own.) We had portraits done over Christmas (actually, on Christmas Eve morning), by a very talented young photographer who is a college buddy of Child B’s. I just got the results in digital form, so I wanted to share.
August 13, 2010
Just had that Jimmy Buffett tune running through my head, and thought I’d share. M’mm h’mm, thank you, drive through.
It was burgers again tonight, NS’s request, and since I’m about to go off and leave him for three days to the tender mercies of Child C and CCRB, I figured I’d humor him. Didn’t have any PJF beef, so I bought ground round at the grocery.
Not even close. And I don’t give a rat that it’s half the PJF price. ‘ Tain’t worth it.
August 12, 2010
I did cook tonight. But by the I got in from the gym, put the rice in the rice cooker, made the sauce, put the meatballs in the sauce, sat down with a glass of wine, drank the glass of wine, checked the rice to see if it was done, discovered I’d failed to turn the cooker on, cursed and then did so, made NS a grilled cheese sandwich because he didn’t like the meatball he sampled, poured another glass of wine, and waited on the rice to get done, it was 8:48 p.m. And I didn’t want meatballs.
So I ate rice with butter and brown sugar. And finished the second glass of wine. Yes, I am a warped individual.
Besides, it’s been to effing hot to cook, although have done so once since last post. That was meatball sandwiches, which NS would rather eat than steak.
March 18, 2009
I am not a happy camper this evening, if anyone is keeping up. I have been in Our Capitol all day, doing the People’s Bidness, which involves….well, never mind. May it suffice to say I’ve been on the road since yesterday, been in meetings coming and going, been on the phone when I wasn’t in meetings and sometimes when I was, and am Not Happy with how representative democracy is working these days. Not to mention I haven’t had a decent meal since I’ve been gone.
Yesterday’s lunch was on the road — barbecue potato chips and a Rice Krispy treat. Gotta love those junk food road trips. After an afternoon of meetings, we adjourned to the Capitol Hotel bar, which is a lovely bar in a lovely hotel, for two lovely martinis, the close cousin of one I am drinking tonight that I mixed my very own self, thank you very much, except mine is bigger. Which is a Good Thing, because the vodka bottle is now empty. Must go to the liquor store tomorrow.
Yes, I’m a wuss. I drink vodka martinis. I can’t drink gin. Makes me deathly ill. But the perfect vodka martini is mixed thusly:
The Perfect Martini:
- 2 oz Ketel One or Gray Goose vodka (either is excellent, I buy Ketel One because it’s cheaper, albeit still expensive as hell)
- 1 tiny splash of vermouth (probably 1/4 oz, if that much) (the small vermouth bottle lasts me a LONG time)
- 1 somewhat larger splash of olive juice (maybe 1/2 oz)
- Three small olives, or two big ones
Shake with crushed ice and strain. (Don’t shake the olives, if you were considering it. They go in the glass.) A frosted glass adds to the experience and taste.
The ones at the Capitol weren’t “dirty” enough, so they brought me an extra shot of olive juice. I drizzled a little of it in there. That did the trick.
We had the meat pies, little empanada-looking things with spiced beef; good, but not as good as I remembered. Edamame, with the addition of melted butter (hey, it’s the South, you’ve got to add fat), which was really pretty tasty. And the cheese sampler, which was badly overpriced at $15 for three tiny wedges of cheese — a blue sheeps-milk, a white, hard cows-milk cheese with an overwhelming anise flavor that I didn’t care for, and a goats-milk cheese that was semi-soft and pretty good. Black cherry jam and fig preserves, both good. A scattering of Spanish almonds. Toasted baguette slices. Overall, it overpromised and underdelivered, I thought. They can do better.
Dinner consisted of munching the appetizers, because it just seemed to be too much trouble to go back out to eat after I got down the street a block and checked in my hotel (I’ll drink at the Capitol; it’s too pricy to stay there). I did go down to the bar at the Doubletree and order a burger and another martini. That martini wasn’t nearly as good as the Capitol’s, the burger, which I had ordered medium, came out rare (that’s fine in a steak; not fine in a burger), and the fries were mediocre. So I had ‘em take the burger off my check, drank my martini, ate half of my mediocre fries, and went upstairs and went to bed.
Catered breakfast at oh-early-thirty this morning, also mediocre. A “spicy egg” casserole, which I did not try, as it didn’t look appetizing at all. Cheese grits, which were mediocre. Fruit, which was standard March-issue fruit. Grocery store Danish. Bad coffee. Lunch, on the road, was a bag of tropical fruit trail mix and a beef jerky. Junk food is my friend.
I didn’t have it in me to either cook or go out tonight. It just wasn’t worth it. I’ve got a couple of food groups in this martini glass, and that’ll just have to do. We’ll see if we can do better tomorrow. No, I’m going out to play trivia tomorrow, and eating bar food. We’ll see if I can do better this weekend. Lasagna. Or linguine with goat cheese and butternut squash. Ya think?
Gentleman Caller has invited me to dinner on Friday. I may push for somewhere exceptional. I’m due a GOOD meal. This one may cost him a steak.
Sorry to disappoint, folks. More cooking this weekend. I hope. And more cooking after the freakin’ legislature adjourns (soon, please God, soon!). I’ve got dinner out, and basketball, on Saturday, and back in Little Rock, and trying to figure out how I can trim down my scheduled Dallas trip and still fit it in, on Monday; back to LR Tuesday night for meetings Wednesday morning. Or I may just chunk Dallas altogether, if I can get out of the registration fee for the event and the hotel reservation.
Five weeks until the beach. Five weeks until the beach. Five weeks until the beach. Five weeks….
Tell y’mama ‘n ‘em not to re-elect anybody.
February 13, 2009
….and I can most ASSUREDLY wait a while to get back on the road again. I am currently sitting in Philly (well, Cheltenham, but it’s only a block or two from Philly), on the final stage of a mid-Atlantic seaboard trip. Successful bidness-wise, I think; somewhat less so, food-wise, a fault I intend to correct tomorrow with visit to the Austrian Village for some honest-to-God bratwurst, spaetzle and red cabbage.
Actually, food-wise, today’s been good. Went up to Edison, NJ (the Jersey Turnpike is one more boring piece of highway, I’m here to testify), and came back down to Trenton to meet a friend and have lunch. Went to Papa’s Tomato Pies, which bills itself as the second-oldest continuously operating pizzeria of whatever style it is, in the country. I can see why it lasted.
Thin, crispy crust, which is a necessity for pizza in my book. Thin coating of cheese Directly Over the crust. Diced tomatos over the cheese. A bare sprinkle of seasonings (I tasted garlic, basil, but mimimal; the sweetness of the tomatos carries the pie). Baked in an 800 degree oven (they claim). A huge bowl of antipasti (pronounced antipas’), in the form of a salad with cheese, peppers, tomato, eggs, salami; oil, vinegar, cheese, red pepper on the side to dress it as you choose. A pitcher of birch beer. Good conversation.
Damn, it was fine. And I’m not a pizza fan, generally. We got the plain one today, on the advice of our friend, who’d been there before; said it was good enough without the trimmings (of which you can get all the customary ones). It was. I’d go back, if I could find the damn place, and if it wasn’t a helluva commute from Memphis for pizza.
Tonight, it was order-in cheesesteaks. Not as good as the ones down on South Street, but good. Tomorrow, bratwurst. And I’m cooking pot roast, which will serve for Saturday evening/Sunday lunch.
Tried a couple of restaurants in DC that, as does most of DC, overpromised and underdelivered. Tuscana West did have a most excellent tomato soup; the lobster ravioli was forgettable. Next day, it was Foggy Bottom Grill in the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, where the blue crab soup was — are you ready for this? — cubed potatos and chopped celery in a broth, with chunks of crab meat, and a slice of french bread topped with mozzarella floating on it. I promise. It was awful. The Caesar salad was decent, though.
Back home Sunday. And home for a while. I’m tired of this road warrioress stuff. Tell y’mama ‘n ‘em they can borrow my suitcase for a few weeks.